ARTA resolves 16-year delay in NOW Telecom frequency Issue

After a delay of sixteen years, NOW Telecom Company has cleared its final hurdle as a 5G provider when the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) the other day issued an order of automatic approval for the frequencies it needs.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)’s “obstinate refusal to assign frequencies to NOW Tel” was a violation of the law, the ARTA ruled.

Republic Act no. 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018, reduces processing time, eliminates red tape, simplifies requirements and procedures, and expedites both business and non-business transactions with the government.

NOW Telecom, a cellular mobile telephony service (CMTS) licensee, was one of just four telcos in the country with a CMTS license.

As early as 2005, the NTC found NOW Telecom to be legally, technically, and financially qualified and granted its application for a CMTS Provisional Authority (PA).

However, the commission sat on the company’s application for assignment of the needed frequencies for years.

The ARTA order also resulted in the automatic approval of NOW Telecom’s application for a PA to operate in a certain frequency range.

ARTA directed the NTC to issue the PA applied for in NOW’s original application, as a matter of course.

Under Section 10 of RA 11032, NOW Telecom’s application for assignment of certain frequencies for the exercise of its CMTS provisional authority is declared complete and is now deemed automatically approved.

This was according to the order which the ARTA issued this Monday, March 1.

The ARTA ordered the NTC, through its commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba, to comply with its order immediately and submit proof of compliance within three days from receipt of the order.

The law empowers ARTA to ensure that all government agencies act on all applications within the periods prescribed by law.

NOW Telecom was able to prove that the NTC failed to act on its application for assignment of concomitant radio frequencies since January 2006.

The telco has submitted all required documents and paid all required fees and charges.

With this ARTA ruling and award of frequencies, NOW Telecom emerges as a formidable player in the telecom mobile industry, declared president and chief operations officer Rene Rosales.

As a result of ARTA’s order of automatic approval, NOW Telecom was assigned 220Mhz radio frequencies, including 5G frequencies, for mobile and fixed wireless.